In India: To Trivandrum, Wednesday 2012 January 18

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January 18th 2012
Published: October 27th 2012
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Along the road to ChennaiAlong the road to ChennaiAlong the road to Chennai

Don't know what building this is, but I love the shape and colour
We had a lazy start to the day. I made the most of it by walking along the seashore and letting the waves wash over my feet – Bay of Bengal. Swimming was hazardous; the waves were crashing.

Breakfast outside again, and my friendly chef brought me dosa and the coriander and the coconut sauces. We chatted for a few minutes, and we exchanged cards. He asked me to leave a note to hotel management commending his services, which I shamefully forgot. I will write from Calgary.

JK joined me outside for breakfast, and we broke through a certain stiffness to converse about homes and jobs.

About 11:00 we drove for less than two hours to Chennai airport for the flight to Trivandrum. On the drive I tried to capture photos of modern India – chaotic, with juxtaposition of new private hospitals and universities and the thriving older small businesses for tailoring, music lessons, photos and more.

Quite early for our flight, we sat and read books or did computer things. My mind-space was captured by Sharpe’s Trafalgar to the extent that I had trouble “returning to reality” in India. The aircraft was a prop plane; our
Western GhatsWestern GhatsWestern Ghats

Our flight across the mountain spine of South India.
expensive chicken sandwich was all bun and not very good. Fortunately several of us had eaten chips and cookies in the airport.

After some time, we turned up the south west coast, plainly visible. Yet a while later, I was astonished to see sharp mountains, although we had been told about them in class. Arriving at Trivandrum, we drove through this somewhat less chaotic city. Biggest difference was the huge posters and flags of the CPI(M), i.e., Communist Part of India (Marxist), which I think forms the Kerala government. Our hotel was the new Taj Residency, well appointed but a bit soulless. Beautiful, long swimming pool with water at a perfect temperature - indulged in before dinner. L___ reminded the maître d’ about my non-dairy allergy and asked him to show me the non-dairy dishes on the buffet. He insisted on making me a “special dish” that turned out to be pan-fried fish and steamed vegetables with no spice, only their own mild flavours.

Additional photos below
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The unexpected view from my hotel window - the colour!

29th October 2012

Wow - don't the Western Ghats (are there more, in another direction?) make you want to have a place to stand to get a picture at your leisure? And are those palm trees? Why did I never think of palms in connection with India?

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